In 2006 the Swiss BD-farmers Ueli Hurter and Peter Kunz launched the project to actively involve people in the source of our food: seeds. Another objective is to raise awareness about the threat of the loss of agro-biodiversity as a result of the industrialisation and concentration in the seed market. In 2009 the project expanded to 53 fields in 5 countries and this year for the first time the activities are taking place in more than 10 countries. In the Netherlands Stichting Demeter (BD-certificate) and Stichting Zaadgoed are organising the seed-sowing. ASEED is nog part of the organisation but we call people to participate massively. ASEED-ers will join 1 or more sowing activities as well.
Seeds are a part of our cultural heritage and comes from thousands of years of selection and breeding. What once was owned by mainly farmers and gardeners, is since the last decades, more than half in the hands of only 10 multinationals such as Monsanto. With this power concentrations of companies that deliver seeds and pesticides, the range of varieties and crops increasingly get limited, because for these multinationals it’s commercially more interesting to work on a small number of breeds which they owned guarantee by patent / breeder-rights and / or hybrid seeds. This creates monocultures in agriculture, with less and less biodiversity and the choice for you on the shelfs becomes getting smaller.
The initiators of this international project, two Swiss farmers started ‘Sowing the future’ also as a protest against genetic manipulation of seed. Although the long term effects of eating GM food is still unclear, experimental studies demonstrated that animals given a choice between foods derived from genetically modified soya or maize and conventional soya or maize, leave the engineered food untouched. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer animals have that choice and we eat those animals without knowing that they have eaten this food. Because this is exempted from the labeling-requirement. The project aims to raise awareness, and give farmers and citizens together a voice.
People who participate sow together a field with corn. They will also receive a tour on the biodynamic farm to show how they work on cycles of manure and feed, animalwelfare and soil fertility. There is also an explanation about varieties and seeds and after the sowing a drink and a snack. The participating companies are spread through the Netherlands.
Dates and addresses of the seed sowing activities in the Netherlands: www.stichtingdemeter.nl
Click here to go to the international website of Sowing the future
English reports of Sowing the Future in 2009 and 2011.